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Anti-racism Resources

This guide explores the causes and impacts of racism and how to be anti-racist.

Structural Racism & Health: COVID-19

COVID-19, Racism, and Health: Changing Predictable Outcomes


COVID-19 may not discriminate based on race -- but U.S. health care does


Coronavirus and the Racist History of Pandemics


Additional Readings: 

Race & Racism in Medicine

The Problem with Race-based Medicine


The US Medical System is Still Haunted by Slavery



WGBH Forum: Study in Medical and Scientific Racism In America

Medical Experimentation

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Black and white photo of a doctor drawing blood from a patient as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

BW photo of a white male doctor drawing blood from a Black male patient as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study while observed by onlookers.

  • The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the African American Male was a clinical study designed to observe the progression of untreated syphilis
  • for 40 years between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service in collaboration with Tuskegee University (then the Tuskegee Institute), a historically black college in Alabama
  • The study consisted of 600 poor African American sharecroppers from Macon County, AL, of which 399 were diagnosed with syphilis, and 201 who did not have the disease and were treated as a control group.
  • The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance. Although originally projected to last 6 months, the study actually went on for 40 years (CDC, 2020)

Additional Reading:

Henrietta Lacks & the HeLa Cell Line


  • The HeLa cell line is the first immortal cell line developed for scientific research, and today it remains the most commonly used human cell line.
  • The line was propagated from the cervical cancer cells extracted from Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old African-American mother of five, who died from the cervical cancer on October 4, 1951.
  • The cells were harvested from Lacks' biopsy, and were used without her knowledge or consent. 
  • The HeLa cells are one of the most important achievements in medicine, as they led to such advancements as the polio vaccine



Racial Stereotyping & Racial Bias in Medicine

PBS NewsHour Racial ‘Care Gap’ in Medical Treatment


Why are black mothers and infants far more likely to die in U.S. from pregnancy-related causes?



Additional Readings:

Accessibility Statement
“Open CSCU” by the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International License. The individual items included are subject to their respective license provisions.